Making housewares work

Many products suitable for grocery stores were the talk of the International Home + Housewares Show floor. 

hhs2014The annual International Home + Housewares Show, held at McCormick Place in Chicago last month, had plenty of merchandise targeted at supermarkets. While beverage-related machines, from soda makers to coffee makers, were prominent, traditional lower-priced housewares were also prevalent.

In fact, many suppliers suggested that mid-tier price points would work best with consumers over the next year. They supported that by introducing more products geared towards the “better” segment of the “good, better, best” merchandising strategy.

Here is a look at what some suppliers had on display at this year’s show.

Butler puts the gloves on
Butler Home Products unveiled a number of food prep gloves. The Marlborough, Mass.-based company is expanding its The Good Cook brand by launching latex-free Food Prep gloves. The gloves are made from FDA-approved materials making it safe to handle chicken, raw meat and other contaminates, company officials said. Additionally, the gloves are more puncture resistant than latex or vinyl gloves, are powder-free and come with a beaded cuff for added durability.

“Cooking is messy,” said Michael Silverman, senior vice president of marketing. “Our gloves will not only cut down on clean-up time but help to reduce the incidence of cross contamination when cooks change gloves between tasks.” The gloves are sold in a 30-pack that comes in a re-sealable bag with a suggested retail price of $4.99.

Butler is also launching two dishwashing gloves under Procter & Gamble’s Dawn brand. The Dawn Platinum Gloves have an extra thick coating intended to protect hands from hot water and be incredibly durable. The gloves are textured for grip-ability while washing dishes and have a seamless cotton liner to help keep hands comfortable and dry. They have a suggested retail price range between $9.99 and $12.99. The Dawn Luxe Gloves are priced at $3.99 and offer an extra soft lining complete with an integrated hand moisturizer to enhance the dishwashing experience. Both gloves are offered in Dawn’s signature blue color and will be available in multiple sizes.

“The Dawn Platinum Kitchen Gloves are Butler’s premier brand, offering an enhanced dishwashing experience that ties back to the core Dawn Platinum brand of being the best of the best,” said Silverman.

Butler also has a new look for its Twist line of all-natural household cleaning tools. The new color themed packaging program and updated logo were designed make the entire line more cohesive and easier to shop by grouping materials by accent colors, say officials. Additionally, the company will launch Twist Household Gloves, made from all-natural latex.

Lifetime Brands delivers pizza
Lifetime Brands introduced its pizza-themed Brick Oven brand, a line of more than 60 items created to allow retailers to pick which pizza preparation items are right for their consumer base. The line includes pizza stones, peels, cripsters, cutting and serving boards, preparation and serving tools, dough tools, cheese tools, glass prep items, melamine and ceramic serveware and food storage.

“There has been a increase in demand for specialty products that help consumers replicate professional food experiences at home,” said Jeffrey Siegel, CEO of the Garden City, N.Y.-based company. “Pizza is a huge opportunity at retail and Brick Oven fills the current void in the market. Lifetime Brands is the only company that can offer such a wide assortment of pizza products across multiple categories, and offer merchandising solutions that display them in a comprehensive collection at retail.”

Contigo does it in a snap
Contigo, an Ignite USA brand, introduced a number of items, including the SnapSeal Lid System. Designed for travel mug users on a budget, the system offers a one-handed, leak-proof operation, say officials for the Chicago-based company. Officials add that the collection, featuring 16- and 20-ounce stainless steel mugs and a 16-ounce plastic mug, offers quality and performance at an affordable price-point designed to expose a new segment of consumers to the brand.

Features include a one-piece, leak-proof lid designed for quick cleaning and one-handed operation. Contigo is also launching the Shake & Go Fit mixer bottle with a rounded-bottom design that makes it easy to smoothly mix protein drinks and shakes, officials say.

The bottle and lid are top-rack dishwasher safe and available in 20- and 28-ounce designs. The Shake & Go Fit mixer bottle launches this summer and will have a suggested retail price of  $6.99 for the 20-ounce bottle and $7.99 for the 28-ounce bottle.

“In addition to eye-catching point-of-sale and end cap displays, we can work with grocery partners on relevant in-aisle cross-branding opportunities,” said Todd Starr, vice president of marketing and product development for Contigo. “The coffee aisle is one great example. Another is individually packaged flavor enhancers and mix-ins. Our new Shake & Go tumbler is the perfect reusable solution for quickly and conveniently mixing one of these popular drinks without worry of making a mess, so placing it in the aisle alongside them can create lift for both categories.”

Going big time
Big Time Products is introducing the Soft Scrub brand of household cleaning gloves. Among the products featured in the 32 SKU line are premium latex gloves, latex alternatives and 10-count disposables in three materials: Latex, natural and vinyl.

“We offer a number of different choices in different materials,” said Adam Marlatt, vice president of sales for the Rome, Ga.-based company. “We back our products with strong point-of-sale vehicles, including creative and timely off-shelf promotions during several key periods of the year, like spring and fall cleaning and back-to-school. The key is to get the consumer familiar with our products and that will get them coming back.”

CH, CH… Chia
Joseph Enterprises, the San Francisco-based manufacturer of Chia Pets, unveiled chia seeds. According to Michael Hirsch, vice president of the company, the seeds are an excellent source of omega-3, iron, fiber, calcium and magnesium that can be added to soups, salads and smoothies.

The seeds are available in 1-pound jars and bags and have a suggested retail price of $16.99. A clip-strip 5-ounce package has an SRP of $5.99. “Consumers are asking for it and chia seeds have sold very well at natural food stores,” Hirsch said. “If a supermarket chain has a natural food section, this makes perfect sense. It is a super food that consumers want and we have the perfect connection with the Chia Pet.”

zylissZyliss plays into grocery stores
Zyliss is best known for its high-end kitchen gadgets and tools. Now, the Irvine, Calif.-based company, a division of DKB Household USA Corp., wants grocery retailers to know more about its products for the supermarket. According to Jennifer Kessler, director of sales, Zyliss offers about 200 SKUs for its mass line of gadgets and cutlery, including everything from cheese graters to choppers, ice cream scoopers, peelers and corn holders.

The line is supported by a wide range of 12-piece counter displays that Kessler said can be placed anywhere in the store for cross-merchandising opportunities. “If a grocery retailer has a good, better, best approach to this category, we are in the better bracket,” she said. “Most of our items are $20 or less and a lot of them are actually $10 or less. Plus our products come with a five-year guarantee. Our company has been around 60 years and we are the inventors of so many different products. We have a great partnership with retailers.”

Baking a cake
Gartner Specialty Products has teamed up with pastry chef Duff Goldman to offer a line of specialty cake mixes and other products that company officials say should help retailers significantly build sales in the category.

The line features 26 SKUs, including 13 cake mixes, four frostings, four fillings and three cake kits. New Neapolitan and Purple Rain mixes will be available in June. Items have a suggested retail price of between $2.99 and $3.99.

“We believe there is nothing like this in the market,” said Jan Dornseif, president of the Stillwater, Minn.-based company. “With the wide array of mixes and flavors, we provide a unique option for consumers. These are not just basic chocolate cake mixes. We have a lot to offer, including bright packaging that will catch the consumer’s eye as she walks down the aisle.”

Gartner is also releasing a premium brownie mix, premium cookie mix and seasonal holiday mixes for the Halloween and Christmas seasons.

Broadening the candle category
Officials at Candle-lite are confident they can bring more shoppers into the candle market. The Cincinnati-based company unveiled a number of items, including Anarchy, a line of six fragrances in 17-ounce cylinder jars priced at $12.99 each. The line features more rugged fragrances that are designed to catch the attention of male shoppers as well as younger consumers.

“Our job is to show consumers that we have some trendy items that appeal to younger consumers and is connected to the idea of having fun and letting loose,” said Mark Cunningham, vice president of sales and marketing for the company.

Candle-lite is also promoting Aroma Melts, a line of flameless fragrances that were introduced last year. The line is designed to appeal to consumers who are concerned about the safety of a flame and want less cleanup from burning a candle. A package of three has a retail price of $4.99.

Bloom is a line of six, 16-ounce cylinder jars, featuring fragrances targeted at a female audience. Each product is priced at $9.99. The line starts shipping in June.

Cool Gear goes back to college
Cool Gear showed a line of collegiate licensed products featuring images of many of the top college football teams on reusable soda cans, doubled-wall mason jars and 32-ounce patented steel hydration bottles. The line will be available in June.

“These are great products for tailgating,” said Colleen Dolan-Hastings, marketing manager for the Plymouth, Mass.-based company. “We have had so many people coming to our booth and just loving the line because of the association with these teams. People are very passionate about their schools and this is a great way to show their school pride.”

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